Updated: Sep 17
Finally….it’s summer! Or at least what we think it should be. Here in the mid-east of Saskatchewan, we seem to not even have had spring yet. The temperatures are kind of atypical. But that is something we cannot change however hard we try.
The plant I want to talk about today doesn’t mind the weather and is flourishing:
Since we discovered the taste (yes, it is not an acquired taste) of Lamb’s Quarter, we are hooked! Lamb’s Quarter is known and used all over the world.
Ha, when I heard that, I thought: See, it’s not just dandelion!)
Lamb’s Quater is also known as wild spinach and that’s one of the ways how we use it.
So what is so special about it? Lots of the wild edible greens will become fairly bitter by early summer, but Lamb’s Quarter retains its mild flavour and smooth texture throughout the summer. And we don’t have to worry about seeding or transplanting, it’ll just come again and again.
Compared with spinach it takes some of the gold medals: 1 cup of chopped Lamb’s Quarter leaves will give you 464 mg of calcium ( 30 mg in spinach) and 66 mg of vitamin C (8.6 mg in spinach). Additionally, it’s very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Thankfully Lamb’s Quarter grows all over the homestead, so we only have to go a few steps to pick it to have a variety of meals at our fingertips all summer long.
The leaves are a great addition to a salad, even in a potato salad. A great summer meal is to steam them in butter with some garlic and onions. Serve them with some hashbrowns and poached eggs (one of our favourite staples when visiting grandma as a child ).
The bud and young flower shots can be used just like broccoli. Steam them or prepare them just like you would broccoli. Brown some butter and add some bread crumbs to the butter and top the greens with it.
The seeds can be cooked like quinoa, added to smoothies, stir-fries,
cookies and so much more.